With every industry, there are busy and slow seasons. When it rains it pours, and when it’s dry it feels like a drought. However, there are so many great opportunities that an actor has to fill their calendar with things that can further their career when they have some extra time.
In the entertainment industry it is pretty much mandatory that you watch and are knowledgeable in films. How cool is that? One of the tasks we need to do for career research is watching movies! Watching classic films, current films, and indie darlings will give you great examples to use as reference not only for your artistic endeavors, but also in conversation with other industry members. Believe me, if someone can’t at least quote one line from a classic such as, The Godfather, not only do they lose street cred with me, but I can tell they are not serious about their craft. If cost is an issue, and going to the movies frequently is out of your budget, try renting filmsfrom your local library. While they might not have the most up to date movies, they will have the classics. Another alternative that is budget friendly is web based movie services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime. For a low monthly rate, you can watch limitless movies and even create a watch list based on their film library.
In addition to taking the time to watch films, you should also take time to read plays and great novels. Not only will you be educating yourself with the classics, but, there are so many films today based on literature that reading can help inspire you to make your own story or film adaptation.
Another great opportunity of having down time is being able to take the time to re-evaluate and update all of your artist tools. For example, are your headshots up to date? Is your resume, website and reel current? Have you kept in touch with the contacts you made on set? Or do your contacts information look like a heap of paper and notes? Now is the perfect time to make those updates and grab that cup of joe. By making these updates and relationships stronger it will help you create more opportunities for yourself not only in the future, but will help your representation be able to get you into more doors.
Lastly, the whole point of art is self expression and being able to relate the human condition. In order to be able to bring a story, or character to life you need to be able to bring your own life experiences to your art and make it relatable to your audience. The only way to get life experiences is to live life! So when all else fails, and none of the above seems appealing, take a day trip, sit in a park and people watch, volunteer and get to learn other people’s stories, because those moments will breathe life into your art.
The most important thing is to enjoy your life- it’s all that matters.
– Audrey Hepburn
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(Image Credit: downtime cone: SET3, Sterile Environment Technologies; rolodex: mmprint.com; movie theater: Alberta Promedia, Inc.)